Twelve-year-old Robert hates his maths teacher. He sets his class boring problems and won't let them use their calculators. Then in his dreams Robert meets the Number Devil who brings the subject magically to life, illustrating with wit and charm a world in, which numbers can amaze and fascinate, where maths is nothing like the dreary, difficult process that so many of us dread. "The Number Devil" knows how to make maths devilishly simple.
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Young Robert's dreams have taken a decided turn for the weird. Instead of falling down holes and such, he's visiting a bizarre magical land of number tricks with the number devil as his host. Starting at one and adding zero and all the rest of the numbers, Robert and the number devil use giant furry calculators, piles of coconuts, and endlessly scrolling paper to introduce basic concepts of numeracy, from interesting number sequences to exponents to matrices. Author Hans Magnus Enzensberger's dry humor and sense of wonder will keep you and your kids entranced while you learn (shhh!) mathematical principles. Who could resist the little red guy who calls prime numbers "prima donnas," irrational numbers "unreasonable," and roots "rutabagas"? Not that the number devil is without his devilish qualities. He loses his temper when Robert looks for the easy way out of a number puzzle or dismisses math as boring and useless. "What do you expect?" he asks. "I'm the number devil, not Santa Claus." (Ages 10 to adult) --Therese LittletonAbout the Author:
Hans Magnus Enzensberger is one of Germany's greatest living writers. In The Number Devil he has written a book that is essential reading for anyone - of any age who has ever been mystified by maths. The author lives in Munich.
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